A forest is being cut down, monarch butterflies are losing their homes, and their numbers have plummeted by 90% over the past 20 years.

Every fall, high in the mountains of Mexico, in a small area of ancient forest, monarch butterflies arrive by the millions. It takes one year and four generations for the monarchs that live east of the Rockies to complete their 3,000 mile journey where they seek out stands of trees last occupied by their great-great grandparents, and it’s here they winter.

We recently visited the Cerro Pelón Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary to witness this natural wonder, awed by the beauty of this spectacle--and alarmed by its fragility.

The effects of big agriculture and climate change makes maintaining a thick forest canopy in the monarchs’ overwintering grounds crucial.  Unfortunately illegal logging of the butterfly forest continues because local people lack any other economic option.

Macheros-based non-profit Butterflies and Their People, AC, with support from the Monarch Butterfly Fund, has been able to hire, equip, and train three full-time arborists to monitor and protect the core sanctuary area. The arborists provide important research data.  They monitor monarch nectar sources and predator patterns, and document the biodiversity of Cerro Pelón by tracking birds, wildflowers, and mushrooms.  Most importantly, their presence protects the forest. Clandestine logging has declined since these three arborists began making their rounds. Help us reduce it even more!

We want to raise an additional $6,000 to hire, train, and equip an additional full-time arborist from one of Cerro Pelon’s surrounding villages. One more arborist will be able to cover more ground, the butterfly sanctuary will have one more guardian,  and one more family will be pulled out of poverty.

Please help us save the monarch butterflies by supporting this grassroots effort to protect their forest. Ensure that future generations can also experience the wonder of entering a natural cathedral of millions of monarchs fluttering about their sacred grove.

Click here to learn more about Butterflies and Their People, AC 


  • Anonymous 
    • $180 
    • 4 mos
  • Roslyn Chernesky 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Marie & Gary Urick 
    • $90 
    • 7 mos
  • Marie and Gary Urick 
    • $60 
    • 9 mos
  • Marie and Gary Urick 
    • $60 
    • 12 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Richard Wells 
Seattle, WA
Ellen Sharp 
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